ResearchPad - fibrosis https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Plasma Galectin-3 predicts deleterious vascular dysfunction affecting post-myocardial infarction patients: An explanatory study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7712 In a previous analysis of a post-myocardial infarction (MI) cohort, abnormally high systemic vascular resistances (SVR) were shown to be frequently revealed by MRI during the healing period, independently of MI severity, giving evidence of vascular dysfunction and limiting further recovery of cardiac function. The present ancillary and exploratory analysis of the same cohort was aimed at characterizing those patients suffering from high SVR remotely from MI with a large a panel of cardiovascular MRI parameters and blood biomarkers.MethodsMRI and blood sampling were performed 2–4 days after a reperfused MI and 6 months thereafter in 121 patients. SVR were monitored with a phase-contrast MRI sequence and patients with abnormally high SVR at 6-months were characterized through MRI parameters and blood biomarkers, including Galectin-3, an indicator of cardiovascular inflammation and fibrosis after MI. SVR were normal at 6-months in 90 patients (SVR-) and abnormally high in 31 among whom 21 already had high SVR at the acute phase (SVR++) while 10 did not (SVR+).ResultsWhen compared with SVR-, both SVR+ and SVR++ exhibited lower recovery in cardiac function from baseline to 6-months, while baseline levels of Galectin-3 were significantly different in both SVR+ (median: 14.4 (interquartile range: 12.3–16.7) ng.mL-1) and SVR++ (13.0 (11.7–19.4) ng.mL-1) compared to SVR- (11.7 (9.8–13.5) ng.mL-1, both p < 0.05). Plasma Galectin-3 was an independent baseline predictor of high SVR at 6-months (p = 0.002), together with the baseline levels of SVR and left ventricular end-diastolic volume, whereas indices of MI severity and left ventricular function were not. In conclusion, plasma Galectin-3 predicts a deleterious vascular dysfunction affecting post-MI patients, an observation that could lead to consider new therapeutic targets if confirmed through dedicated prospective studies. ]]> <![CDATA[Investigating gene-microRNA networks in atrial fibrillation patients with mitral valve regurgitation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7684 Atrial fibrillation (AF) is predicted to affect around 17.9 million individuals in Europe by 2060. The disease is associated with severe electrical and structural remodelling of the heart, and increased the risk of stroke and heart failure. In order to improve treatment and find new drug targets, the field needs to better comprehend the exact molecular mechanisms in these remodelling processes.ObjectivesThis study aims to identify gene and miRNA networks involved in the remodelling of AF hearts in AF patients with mitral valve regurgitation (MVR).MethodsTotal RNA was extracted from right atrial biopsies from patients undergoing surgery for mitral valve replacement or repair with AF and without history of AF to test for differentially expressed genes and miRNAs using RNA-sequencing and miRNA microarray. In silico predictions were used to construct a mRNA-miRNA network including differentially expressed mRNAs and miRNAs. Gene and chromosome enrichment analysis were used to identify molecular pathways and high-density AF loci.ResultsWe found 644 genes and 43 miRNAs differentially expressed in AF patients compared to controls. From these lists, we identified 905 pairs of putative miRNA-mRNA interactions, including 37 miRNAs and 295 genes. Of particular note, AF-associated miR-130b-3p, miR-338-5p and miR-208a-3p were differentially expressed in our AF tissue samples. These miRNAs are predicted regulators of several differentially expressed genes associated with cardiac conduction and fibrosis. We identified two high-density AF loci in chromosomes 14q11.2 and 6p21.3.ConclusionsAF in MVR patients is associated with down-regulation of ion channel genes and up-regulation of extracellular matrix genes. Other AF related genes are dysregulated and several are predicted to be targeted by miRNAs. Our novel miRNA-mRNA regulatory network provides new insights into the mechanisms of AF. ]]> <![CDATA[Identification of miRNA signatures associated with radiation-induced late lung injury in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7641 Acute radiation exposure of the thorax can lead to late serious, and even life-threatening, pulmonary and cardiac damage. Sporadic in nature, late complications tend to be difficult to predict, which prompted this investigation into identifying non-invasive, tissue-specific biomarkers for the early detection of late radiation injury. Levels of circulating microRNA (miRNA) were measured in C3H and C57Bl/6 mice after whole thorax irradiation at doses yielding approximately 70% mortality in 120 or 180 days, respectively (LD70/120 or 180). Within the first two weeks after exposure, weight gain slowed compared to sham treated mice along with a temporary drop in white blood cell counts. 52% of C3H (33 of 64) and 72% of C57Bl/6 (46 of 64) irradiated mice died due to late radiation injury. Lung and heart damage, as assessed by computed tomography (CT) and histology at 150 (C3H mice) and 180 (C57Bl/6 mice) days, correlated well with the appearance of a local, miRNA signature in the lung and heart tissue of irradiated animals, consistent with inherent differences in the C3H and C57Bl/6 strains in their propensity for developing radiation-induced pneumonitis or fibrosis, respectively. Radiation-induced changes in the circulating miRNA profile were most prominent within the first 30 days after exposure and included miRNA known to regulate inflammation and fibrosis. Importantly, early changes in plasma miRNA expression predicted survival with reasonable accuracy (88–92%). The miRNA signature that predicted survival in C3H mice, including miR-34a-5p, -100-5p, and -150-5p, were associated with pro-inflammatory NF-κB-mediated signaling pathways, whereas the signature identified in C57Bl/6 mice (miR-34b-3p, -96-5p, and -802-5p) was associated with TGF-β/SMAD signaling. This study supports the hypothesis that plasma miRNA profiles could be used to identify individuals at high risk of organ-specific late radiation damage, with applications for radiation oncology clinical practice or in the context of a radiological incident.

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<![CDATA[Utility and validity of dynamic chest radiography in cystic fibrosis (dynamic CF): an observational, non-controlled, non-randomised, single-centre, prospective study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N38f0eef4-d97a-405b-af90-946f1ce825e7 Dynamic chest radiography (DCR) uses novel, low-dose radiographic technology to capture images of the thoracic cavity while in motion. Pulmonary function testing is important in cystic fibrosis (CF). The tolerability, rapid acquisition and lower radiation and cost compared with CT imaging may make DCR a useful adjunct to current standards of care.Methods and analysisThis is an observational, non-controlled, non-randomised, single-centre, prospective study. This study is conducted at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital (LHCH) adult CF unit. Participants are adults with CF. This study reviews DCR taken during routine CF Annual Review (n=150), validates DCR-derived lung volumes against whole body plethysmography (n=20) and examines DCR at the start and end of pulmonary exacerbations of CF (n=20). The primary objectives of this study are to examine if DCR provides lung function information that correlates with PFT, and lung volumes that correlate whole body plethysmography.Ethics and disseminationThis study has received the following approvals: HRA REC (11 December 2019) and LHCH R&I (11 October 2019). Results are made available to people with CF, the funders and other researchers. Processed, anonymised data are available from the research team on request.Trial registration numberISRCTN 64994816. ]]> <![CDATA[The natural drug DIAVIT is protective in a type II mouse model of diabetic nephropathy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c92b34ad5eed0c4843a3d15

There is evidence to suggest that abnormal angiogenesis, inflammation, and fibrosis drive diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, there is no specific treatment to counteract these processes. We aimed to determine whether DIAVIT, a natural Vaccinium myrtillus (blueberry) and Hippophae Rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) extract, is protective in a model of type II DN. Diabetic db/db mice were administered DIAVIT in their drinking water for 14 weeks. We assessed the functional, structural, and ultra-structural phenotype of three experimental groups (lean+vehicle, db/db+vehicle, db/db+DIAVIT). We also investigated the angiogenic and fibrotic pathways involved in the mechanism of action of DIAVIT. Diabetic db/db mice developed hyperglycaemia, albuminuria, and an increased glomerular water permeability; the latter two were prevented by DIAVIT. db/db mice developed fibrotic glomeruli, endothelial insult, and glomerular ultra-structural changes, which were not present in DIAVIT-treated mice. Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) splicing was altered in the db/db kidney cortex, increasing the pro-angiogenic VEGF-A165 relative to the anti-angiogenic VEGF-A165b. This was partially prevented with DIAVIT treatment. Delphinidin, an anthocyanin abundant in DIAVIT, increased the VEGF-A165b expression relative to total VEGF-A165 in cultured podocytes through phosphorylation of the splice factor SRSF6. DIAVIT, in particular delphinidin, alters VEGF-A splicing in type II DN, rescuing the DN phenotype. This study highlights the therapeutic potential of natural drugs in DN through the manipulation of gene splicing and expression.

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<![CDATA[Blood co-expression modules identify potential modifier genes of diabetes and lung function in cystic fibrosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N07a3560c-fa96-4eb5-821e-9292b7a2bef0

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a rare genetic disease that affects the respiratory and digestive systems. Lung disease is variable among CF patients and associated with the development of comorbidities and chronic infections. The rate of lung function deterioration depends not only on the type of mutations in CFTR, the disease-causing gene, but also on modifier genes. In the present study, we aimed to identify genes and pathways that (i) contribute to the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis and (ii) modulate the associated comorbidities. We profiled blood samples in CF patients and healthy controls and analyzed RNA-seq data with Weighted Gene Correlation Network Analysis (WGCNA). Interestingly, lung function, body mass index, the presence of diabetes, and chronic P. aeruginosa infections correlated with four modules of co-expressed genes. Detailed inspection of networks and hub genes pointed to cell adhesion, leukocyte trafficking and production of reactive oxygen species as central mechanisms in lung function decline and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes. Of note, we showed that blood is an informative surrogate tissue to study the contribution of inflammation to lung disease and diabetes in CF patients. Finally, we provided evidence that WGCNA is useful to analyze–omic datasets in rare genetic diseases as patient cohorts are inevitably small.

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<![CDATA[Toward precision prescribing for methadone: Determinants of methadone deposition]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N51499fe4-a854-40f2-ac0e-5bd2b114360f

Background

Despite the World Health Organization listing methadone as an essential medication, effective dose selection is challenging, especially in racial and ethnic minority populations. Subtherapeutic doses can result in withdrawal symptoms while supratherapeutic doses can result in overdose and death. Although CYP3A4 was conventionally considered the principal methadone metabolizing enzyme, more recent data have identified CYP2B6 as the principal enzyme. CYP2B6 has ethnically-associated polymorphisms that affect the metabolic rate. Our objective was to investigate the effects of genetic and nongenetic factors on methadone metabolism.

Methods

We measured trough plasma methadone levels in 100 participants with opioid use disorder. We assessed methadone metabolism by calculating the metabolite ratio (major metabolite: 2-ethylidene-1,5-dimethyl-3,3-diphenylpyrrolidine [EDDP] divided by methadone concentration). We assessed hepatic fibrosis and steatosis by transient elastography and CYP2B6 alleles, principally responsible for methadone metabolism. Mixed effects models modeled the data in 97 participants.

Results

Participants were largely male (58%), minority (61% African American) and non-Hispanic (68%). Forty percent were HCV mono-infected, 40% were uninfected, and 20% were HCV/HIV co-infected. Female sex had significant effects on (R)- and (S)-methadone metabolism (p = 0.016 and p = 0.044, respectively). CYP2B6 loss of function (LOF) alleles significantly affected (S)-methadone metabolism (p = 0.012). Body mass index (BMI) significantly affected (R)-methadone metabolism (p = 0.034). Methadone metabolism appeared to be lower in males, in individuals with LOF alleles, and elevated BMI.

Conclusions

Genetic analysis, especially in minority populations, is essential to delivering individualized treatments. Although the principal methadone metabolizing enzyme remains controversial, our results suggest that sex, CYP2B6 genotype, and BMI should be incorporated into multivariate models to create methadone dosing algorithms. Methadone dosing algorithms should facilitate medication delivery, improve patient satisfaction, and diminish overdose potential.

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<![CDATA[Disease-relevant mutations alter amino acid co-evolution networks in the second nucleotide binding domain of CFTR]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N211c75a7-eaac-4644-b655-cac4e239c2e4

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease caused by mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) ion channel. Mutations in CFTR cause impaired chloride ion transport in the epithelial tissues of patients leading to cardiopulmonary decline and pancreatic insufficiency in the most severely affected patients. CFTR is composed of twelve membrane-spanning domains, two nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs), and a regulatory domain. The most common mutation in CFTR is a deletion of phenylalanine at position 508 (ΔF508) in NBD1. Previous research has primarily concentrated on the structure and dynamics of the NBD1 domain; However numerous pathological mutations have also been found in the lesser-studied NBD2 domain. We have investigated the amino acid co-evolved network of interactions in NBD2, and the changes that occur in that network upon the introduction of CF and CF-related mutations (S1251N(T), S1235R, D1270N, N1303K(T)). Extensive coupling between the α- and β-subdomains were identified with residues in, or near Walker A, Walker B, H-loop and C-loop motifs. Alterations in the predicted residue network varied from moderate for the S1251T perturbation to more severe for N1303T. The S1235R and D1270N networks varied greatly compared to the wildtype, but these CF mutations only affect ion transport preference and do not severely disrupt CFTR function, suggesting dynamic flexibility in the network of interactions in NBD2. Our results also suggest that inappropriate interactions between the β-subdomain and Q-loop could be detrimental. We also identified mutations predicted to stabilize the NBD2 residue network upon introduction of the CF and CF-related mutations, and these predicted mutations are scored as benign by the MUTPRED2 algorithm. Our results suggest the level of disruption of the co-evolution predictions of the amino acid networks in NBD2 does not have a straightforward correlation with the severity of the CF phenotypes observed.

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<![CDATA[Volatile organic compound breath signatures of children with cystic fibrosis by real-time SESI-HRMS]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N76f6291e-53bb-47da-a925-4930c7917500

Early pulmonary infection and inflammation result in irreversible lung damage and are major contributors to cystic fibrosis (CF)-related morbidity. An easy to apply and noninvasive assessment for the timely detection of disease-associated complications would be of high value. We aimed to detect volatile organic compound (VOC) breath signatures of children with CF by real-time secondary electrospray ionisation high-resolution mass spectrometry (SESI-HRMS).

A total of 101 children, aged 4–18 years (CF=52; healthy controls=49) and comparable for sex, body mass index and lung function were included in this prospective cross-sectional study. Exhaled air was analysed by a SESI-source linked to a high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Mass spectra ranging from m/z 50 to 500 were recorded.

Out of 3468 m/z features, 171 were significantly different in children with CF (false discovery rate adjusted p-value of 0.05). The predictive ability (CF versus healthy) was assessed by using a support-vector machine classifier and showed an average accuracy (repeated cross-validation) of 72.1% (sensitivity of 77.2% and specificity of 67.7%).

This is the first study to assess entire breath profiles of children with SESI-HRMS and to extract sets of VOCs that are associated with CF. We have detected a large set of exhaled molecules that are potentially related to CF, indicating that the molecular breath of children with CF is diverse and informative.

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<![CDATA[Controlled evaluation of a transition clinic for Dutch young people with cystic fibrosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N00f69c71-ca48-4182-882d-3bc09fbdfb64

Abstract

Background

Transition clinics (TCs) are advocated as best practice to support young people with cystic fibrosis (CF) during transition to adulthood and adult care. We aimed to research the functioning of a TC for young people with CF compared with direct hand‐over care and to evaluate whether those treated at the TC have better transfer experiences and outcomes compared with the control group.

Methods

Mixed‐methods retrospective controlled design, including interviews with professionals, observations of clinics, chart reviews (at four measurement moments), and patient surveys. Qualitative data analysis focused on organization and daily routines, and barriers and facilitators experienced. Young people's transfer experiences, self‐management, health care use, and clinical outcomes were assessed quantitatively.

Results

The most notable feature distinguishing the TC and direct hand‐over care comprised joint consultations between pediatric and adult care professionals in the former. A transition coordinator was considered essential for the success of the TC. The main barriers were lack of time, planning, and reimbursement issues. Young people treated at the TC tended to have better transfer experiences and were more satisfied. They reported significantly more trust in their adult care professionals. Their self‐management‐related outcomes were less favorable.

Conclusions

The TC had several perceived benefits and showed positive trends in transfer experiences and satisfaction, but no differences in health‐related outcomes. Structured preparation of young people, joint consultations with pediatric and adult care professionals, and better coordination were perceived as facilitating elements. Further improvement demands solutions for organizational and financial barriers, and better embedding of self‐management interventions in CF care.

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<![CDATA[Genetic association and transcriptome integration identify contributing genes and tissues at cystic fibrosis modifier loci]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7ee7c7d5eed0c4848f4db2

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) exhibits morbidity in several organs, including progressive lung disease in all patients and intestinal obstruction at birth (meconium ileus) in ~15%. Individuals with the same causal CFTR mutations show variable disease presentation which is partly attributed to modifier genes. With >6,500 participants from the International CF Gene Modifier Consortium, genome-wide association investigation identified a new modifier locus for meconium ileus encompassing ATP12A on chromosome 13 (min p = 3.83x10-10); replicated loci encompassing SLC6A14 on chromosome X and SLC26A9 on chromosome 1, (min p<2.2x10-16, 2.81x10−11, respectively); and replicated a suggestive locus on chromosome 7 near PRSS1 (min p = 2.55x10-7). PRSS1 is exclusively expressed in the exocrine pancreas and was previously associated with non-CF pancreatitis with functional characterization demonstrating impact on PRSS1 gene expression. We thus asked whether the other meconium ileus modifier loci impact gene expression and in which organ. We developed and applied a colocalization framework called the Simple Sum (SS) that integrates regulatory and genetic association information, and also contrasts colocalization evidence across tissues or genes. The associated modifier loci colocalized with expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) for ATP12A (p = 3.35x10-8), SLC6A14 (p = 1.12x10-10) and SLC26A9 (p = 4.48x10-5) in the pancreas, even though meconium ileus manifests in the intestine. The meconium ileus susceptibility locus on chromosome X appeared shifted in location from a previously identified locus for CF lung disease severity. Using the SS we integrated the lung disease association locus with eQTLs from nasal epithelia of 63 CF participants and demonstrated evidence of colocalization with airway-specific regulation of SLC6A14 (p = 2.3x10-4). Cystic Fibrosis is realizing the promise of personalized medicine, and identification of the contributing organ and understanding of tissue specificity for a gene modifier is essential for the next phase of personalizing therapeutic strategies.

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<![CDATA[Mycobacterium chimaera Pulmonary Disease in Cystic Fibrosis Patients, France, 2010–2017]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c94e822d5eed0c4846555b8

We report Mycobacterium chimaera pulmonary disease in 4 patients given a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis in a university hospital in Montpellier, France. All patients had M. chimaera–positive expectorated sputum specimens, clinical symptoms of pulmonary exacerbation, or a decrease in spirometry test results that improved after specific treatment.

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<![CDATA[Sexual dimorphism of acute doxorubicin-induced nephrotoxicity in C57Bl/6 mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe23d5eed0c484e5b5ad

Doxorubicin (DOX) is a chemotherapeutic agent that has been reported to cause nephrotoxicity in rodent models and to a lesser degree in cancer patients. Female rodents have been shown to be protected against several features of DOX-induced nephrotoxicity. Nevertheless, the underlying mechanisms of this sexual dimorphism are not fully elucidated. Therefore, in the current study, we investigated the sex and time-dependent changes in pathological lesions as well as apoptotic and fibrotic markers in response to acute DOX-induced nephrotoxicity. We also determined the effect of acute DOX treatment on the renal expression of the sexually dimorphic enzyme, soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), since inhibition of sEH has been shown to protect against DOX-induced nephrotoxicity. Acute DOX-induced nephrotoxicity was induced by a single intra-peritoneal injection of 20 mg/kg DOX to male and female adult C57Bl/6 mice. The kidneys were isolated 1, 3 and 6 days after DOX administration. Histopathology assessment, gene expression of the apoptotic marker, BAX, protein expression of the fibrotic marker, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), and gene and protein expression of sEH were assessed. DOX administration caused more severe pathological lesions as well as higher induction of the apoptotic and fibrotic markers in kidneys of male than in female mice. Intriguingly, DOX inhibited sEH protein expression in kidneys of male mice sacrificed at 3 and 6 days following administration, suggesting that induction of sEH is not necessary for acute DOX-induced nephrotoxicity. However, DOX-induced inhibition of renal sEH in male mice may protect the kidney from further DOX-induced injury in a negative feedback mechanism. We also observed lower constitutive expressions of TGF-β and sEH in the kidney of female mice which may contribute, at least in part, to sexual dimorphism of DOX-induced nephrotoxicity.

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<![CDATA[Cardiopulmonary responses to maximal aerobic exercise in patients with cystic fibrosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca0ed5eed0c48452a718

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a debilitating chronic condition, which requires complex and expensive disease management. Exercise has now been recognised as a critical factor in improving health and quality of life in patients with CF. Hence, cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) is used to determine aerobic fitness of young patients as part of the clinical management of CF. However, at present there is a lack of conclusive evidence for one limiting system of aerobic fitness for CF patients at individual patient level. Here, we perform detailed data analysis that allows us to identify important systems-level factors that affect aerobic fitness. We use patients’ data and principal component analysis to confirm the dependence of CPET performance on variables associated with ventilation and metabolic rates of oxygen consumption. We find that the time at which participants cross the gas exchange threshold (GET) is well correlated with their overall performance. Furthermore, we propose a predictive modelling framework that captures the relationship between ventilatory dynamics, lung capacity and function and performance in CPET within a group of children and adolescents with CF. Specifically, we show that using Gaussian processes (GP) we can predict GET at the individual patient level with reasonable accuracy given the small sample size of the available group of patients. We conclude by presenting an example and future perspectives for improving and extending the proposed framework. The modelling and analysis have the potential to pave the way to designing personalised exercise programmes that are tailored to specific individual needs relative to patient’s treatment therapies.

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<![CDATA[Combining liver stiffness with hyaluronic acid provides superior prognostic performance in chronic hepatitis C]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b26b4d5eed0c484289ee1

Background

Non-invasive methods are the first choice for liver fibrosis evaluation in chronic liver diseases, but few studies investigate the ability of combined methods to predict outcomes.

Methods

591 chronic hepatitis C patients with baseline liver stiffness (LSM) by FibroScan and hyaluronic acid measurements were identified retrospectively. The patients were grouped by baseline LSM: < 10kPa, 10–16.9kPa, and 17-75kPa. Primary outcomes were all-cause mortality and liver-related mortality, analyzed using cox regression and competing risk regression models, respectively.

Results

Median follow-up was 46.1 months. Prevalence of cirrhosis at baseline was 107/591 (18.1%). Median LSM was 6.8kPa (IQR 5.3–11.6) and divided into groups, 404/591 (68.4%) had a LSM < 10kPa, 100/591 (16.9%) had a LSM between 10–16.9kPa and 87/591 (14.7%) had a LSM between 17-75kPa. There were 69 deaths, 27 from liver-related disease. 26 patients developed cirrhosis and 30 developed complications of cirrhosis. The mortality rate in the 17-75kPa group was 9.7/100 person-years, compared to 2.2/100 person-years and 1.1/100 person-years in the 10–16.9kPa and <10kPa groups (p<0.005). Liver-related mortality increased 10-fold for each group (p<0.005). Cirrhotic complications occurred almost exclusively in the 17-75kPa group, with an incidence of 10.3/100 person-years, compared to 1.8/100 person-years and 0.2/100 person-years in the 10–16.9kPa and <10kPa groups (p<0.005). Median hyaluronic acid in the 17-75kPa group was approximately 200ng/mL. Patients with a LSM 17-75kPa had significantly higher risks of death, liver-related death, and complications to cirrhosis if their hyaluronic acid measurement was more than or equal to 200ng/mL at baseline, with hazard ratios of 3.25 (95% CI 1.48–7.25), 7.7 (95% CI 2.32–28), and 3.2 (95% CI 1.35–7.39), respectively.

Conclusions

The combination of LSM and circulating hyaluronic acid measurements significantly improved prognostic ability, relative to LSM alone. Combined static and dynamic markers of liver fibrosis could provide superior risk prediction.

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<![CDATA[Fc gamma RIIb expression levels in human liver sinusoidal endothelial cells during progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fedbd5eed0c48413572f

Liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) play a pivotal role in hepatic function and homeostasis. LSEC dysfunction has been recognized to be closely involved in various liver diseases, including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), but not much is known about the fate of the scavenger receptors in LSECs during NASH. Fc gamma receptor IIb (FcγRIIb), known as a scavenger receptor, contributes to receptor-mediated endocytosis and immune complexes clearance. In this study, to elucidate the fate of FcγRIIb in the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), we examined FcγRIIb levels in NAFLD biopsy specimens by immunohistochemistry, and investigated their correlation with the exacerbation of biological indexes and clinicopathological scores of NASH. The FcγRIIb expression levels indicated significant negative correlations with serum levels of blood lipids (triglyceride, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol), type 4 collagen and hyaluronic acid, which are involved in hepatic lipid metabolism disorder, fibrosis, and inflammation, respectively. However, there was no significant difference of FcγRIIb expression levels among the pathological grades of NAFLD. During NAFLD progression, inflammation and fibrosis may influence the expression of FcγRIIb and their scavenger functions to maintain hepatic homeostasis.

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<![CDATA[Impact of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea on the cognition in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df31bd5eed0c484580d2d

Introduction

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a relentlessly progressive lung disease with a fatal prognosis to whose rapid evolution multiple comorbidities may contribute, one of the most common being obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). There are several potential factors and conditions for the emergence of a cognitive deficit in relation to IPF or associated morbidities.

Objectives

The goals of this study were to assess cognition in patients with IPF in stable phase and to identify clinical cognition modifiers.

Methods

In a cross-sectional study, 23 patients with IPF were evaluated using Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), an instrument for detecting mild cognitive impairments and were screened for OSA through overnight cardiorespiratory polygraphy and for anxiety and depression with three specific scale (Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale: GAD-7; the Patient Health Questionnaire: PHQ-9; Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale: HADS).

Results

MoCA score was lower in patients with IPF when compared to controls subjects (24 [21,26] vs. 27 [26,28], p = 0.003) but not as significantly as in COPD patients (21 [18.8,23.3], p<0.0001). OSA was diagnosed in 19 (82.6%) IPF patients, 12 patients showed the presence of moderate-severe forms (63.15%). IPF patients with cognitive impairment (MoCA<23) exhibit a higher severity of OSA (apneea hypopnea index–AHI: 33.0±19.1 vs. 12.44±8.2, p = 0.018), and a higher Epworth score (7.1±3.3 vs. 4.3±1.8, p = 0.013). Anxiety and depression scores were not correlated with MoCA results.

Conclusions

Impaired cognition in patients with IPF is mild and affect the areas of visuospatial abilities, language and working memory. OSA could be a possible predictor of IPF cognition deficit. Given the high prevalence of multiple types of sleep disorders in IPF patients, these should be investigated at least by cardiorespiratory polygraphy.

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<![CDATA[Connective tissue growth factor mediates transforming growth factor β-induced collagen expression in human endometrial stromal cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59feb0d5eed0c4841352f2

Background

Adenomyosis is a medical condition defined by the abnormal presence of endometrial tissue within the myometrium, in which fibrosis occurs with new collagen deposition and myofibroblast differentiation. In this study, the effect of several mediators and growth factors on collagen expression was investigated on human endometrial stromal cells (fibroblasts) derived from adenomyotic endometrium.

Experimental approach

RT-PCR, Western blot analysis, pharmacological interventions and siRNA interference were applied to primary cultured human endometrial stromal cells (fibroblasts). Immunohistochemistry was used to analyze protein expression in adenomyotic endometrium tissue specimens.

Results

Of the tested mediators, transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) and its isoforms were effective to induce collagen and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) expression. Collagen and CTGF induction by TGFβ1 could be reduced by the inhibitors targeting DNA transcription, protein translation, and Smad2/3 signaling. Interestingly, TGFβ1 induced Smad2/3 phosphorylation and CTGF mRNA expression, but not collagen mRNA expression, suggesting that TGFβ1 mediates collagen expression through CTGF induction and Smad2/3 activation. In parallel, TGFβ1 and CTGF also induced expression of heat shock protein (HSP) 47, a protein required for the synthesis of several types of collagens. However, only CTGF siRNA knockdown, could compromise TGFβ1-induced collagen expression. Finally, the immunohistochemistry revealed vimentin- and α-SMA-positive staining for (myo)fibroblasts, TGFβ1, collagen, and CTGF in the subepithelial stroma region of human adenomyotic endometria.

Conclusion and implications

We reveal here that TGFβ1, collagen, and CTGF are expressed in the stroma of adenomyotic endometria and demonstrate that TGFβ1 can induce collagen production in endometrium-derived fibroblasts through cellular Smad2/3-dependent signaling pathway and CTGF expression, suggesting that endometrial TGFβ may take part in the pathogenesis of adenomyosis and ectopic endometrium may participate in uterine adenomyosis.

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<![CDATA[Time-course analysis of cardiac and serum galectin-3 in viral myocarditis after an encephalomyocarditis virus inoculation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521867d5eed0c4847980ce

Galectin-3 is a β-galactoside-binding lectin which is important in cell proliferation and apoptotic regulation. Recently, serum galectin-3 has been shown to have prognostic value as a biomarker in heart failure. Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) can cause severe myocarditis, congestive heart failure and dilated cardiomyopathy as well as encephalitis in various animals including mice. The pathophysiological role of galectin-3 in acute myocarditis following viral infection is not fully understood. The goal of this study is to determine the cardiac localization and the time-course of galectin-3 expression in heart failure after viral inoculation with EMCV. At 12, 24, 48, 96 hours, 7 and 10 days after intraperitoneal EMCV inoculation, animals were examined histologically and analyzed for the expression of galectin-3 and Iba1. Galectin-3 was up-regulated in degenerated fibrotic lesions of cardiac tissues 96 hours after viral inoculation and were followed by myocardial fibrosis. At the same time, Iba1 positive macrophages were observed within the inflammatory sites. A time-course correlation between the number of galectin-3 positive cells and the cardiac area of degenerated fibrotic lesions was detected—serum galectin-3 increased at 96 hours and correlated well with the number of cardiac galectin-3 positive cells. Our results indicate that galectin-3 expression may be a useful biomarker of cardiac fibrotic degeneration in acute myocarditis following viral infection. In addition, measuring serum galectin-3 levels might be an early diagnostic method for detecting cardiac degeneration in acute myocarditis.

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<![CDATA[Liver regeneration therapy through the hepatic artery-infusion of cultured bone marrow cells in a canine liver fibrosis model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521890d5eed0c484798f50

Background

We previously reported regenerative therapies for decompensated cirrhosis based on peripheral venous drip infusion using non-cultured whole bone marrow (BM) cells, or the less invasive cultured BM-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). Here, we assessed the efficacy and safety of hepatic arterial infusion using cultured autologous BMSCs, comparing it with peripheral infusion, using our established canine liver fibrosis model.

Methods

Canine BM cells were harvested and cultured, and the resultant BMSCs were returned to carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver cirrhosis model canines via either a peripheral vein (Vein group) or hepatic artery (Artery group). A variety of assays were performed before and 4, 8, and 12 weeks after BMSC infusion, and liver fibrosis and indocyanine green (ICG) half-life (t1/2) were compared to those in a control group that received CCl4 but not BMSCs. The safety of this approach was evaluated by contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) and serial blood examinations after infusion.

Results

Four weeks after infusing BMSCs, a significant improvement was observed in the Vein group (n = 8) compared to outcome in the Control group (n = 10), along with a decrease in ICG t1/2. In the Artery group (n = 4), ICG t1/2 was significantly shorter than that in the Vein group at 8 weeks (Δt1/2: −3.8 ± 1.7 min vs. +0.4 ± 2.4 min; p < 0.01) and 12 weeks (Δt1/2: −4.2 ± 1.7 min vs. +0.4 ± 2.7 min; p < 0.01) after BMSC administration. Post-infusion contrast-enhanced CT showed no liver infarction, and blood tests showed no elevations in either serum lactate dehydrogenase concentrations or hypercoagulability.

Conclusions

We confirmed the efficacy and safety of the hepatic arterial infusion of cultured autologous BMSCs using a canine model, thereby providing non-clinical proof-of-concept.

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